Mountain Biking

The Queen Charlotte Track is widely rated as the best single track in New Zealand and is one of this country’s 23 Great Rides and there is little wonder why!

With its wide, benched surface, spectacular views, native bush and, in parts, technical difficulty, the track offers bikers an exhilarating challenge. And, of course, you don't have to carry a heavy pack as while you ride from place to place, one of the many water taxi companies will transport this for you to your accommodation.

Its unique dual use enables both walkers and mountain bikers to co-exist - albeit by relying on courtesy from both parties. The surface of the track is mostly clay which makes for a hard and fast ride over the dry summer months but it can be tricky after rain and biking is not recommended at such times for your comfort and to protect the track from damage.

Parts of the track are suitable for less experienced bikers while others are recommended for those with a reasonable amount of technical experience. Whichever part of the track you tackle, rest assured a fantastic biking adventure awaits!

Wilderness Guides offer quality mountain bikes for hire - these are 4 adult sizes of Kona and GT bikes with front suspension, hard tail, disc brakes, and are maintained daily.
E-Bikes also available for half day and full day rentals. 

A helmet, repair kit, and pump is also provided as part of your hire.

Contact us for more information on the best way to experience the track by mountain bike and we can help plan your visit, including accommodation bookings and water transport to and from the Queen Charlotte Track. 

We also provide mountain bikes for hire around the popular trails of Picton including The Link Pathway and can offer rental by the hour or for half a day. It's a great way to explore this pretty seaside village.

Whichever option you choose, a great adventure is waiting for you!

As a Great Ride, the Queen Charlotte Track falls under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Cycle Trail/Nga Haerenga and NZCT is clear in its policy around e-bike use on the Great Rides. The NZCT has recently updated it's E-Bike policy to allow these on higher grades than previously advised: 

E-mountain bikes are suitable provided they are ridden appropriately, have sufficient battery capacity, and the rider is capable of completing the trail in the event of a battery/power failure.

Queen Charlotte Track is graded as an ‘easier tramping track’ for walkers and 62% intermediate/grade 3, 28% advanced/grade 4 and 10% expert/grade 5 for mountain biking.

This is a similar difficulty rating to the Coppermine Trail or the St James Cycle Trail.
NZCT Mountain Bike Trail Grades are as follows: 
Intermediate/Grade 3: Suitable for regular experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness and over 12 years old; children should be accompanied by an adult.
Off-road trails can be narrow and may include hills, steep drop-offs and small river crossings. Trail surfaces are mainly firm but may include muddy or loose sections, and obstacles such as rocks or tree roots.
Advanced/Grade 4: Suitable for fit, experienced cyclists with good off-road and/or on-road skills, a high level of fitness and over 12 years of age; children should be accompanied by an adult.
Off-road trails are narrow with steep climbs and unavoidable obstacles. The trail surface includes firm and loose sections, with lots of rocks and tree roots. There is likely to be mud and poor traction in places, and some walking required.

Expert/Grade 5: Suitable for fit, experienced cyclists with excellent off-road skills and a high level of fitness. Not suitable for children.
Off-road trails are likely to be challenging with long, steep climbs, precipitous descents and dangerous drop-offs as well as rocks, roots, ruts and potentially hazardous river crossings.

Grade 5 Sections of the QCT are from Kenepuru Saddle to Bay of Many Coves Shelter, the climb out of Torea Saddle, and the descent into Te Mahia Saddle.

Contact us for more information to plan the best e-bike experience for you!

Your Local Guide

Let our team show you the Queen Charlotte Track and Marlborough Sounds.

Our team live, work and play in this fantastic region - your guides are local people. Call us on +64 3 5735432. Freephone (NZ only): 0800 266 266. Freephone (Aus only): 1800 281 827

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